Almost every major city is heterogeneous in terms of culture and ethnicity. This implies that every city is divided to a certain extent. Yet, there are some cities that are ‘more’ divided than others. Gizem Caner analyses development patterns of such extremely divided cities, using examples from Beirut, Berlin, Jerusalem, Nicosia, and Belfast.
What is the glue holding our cities together? Marcela Guerrero, co-founder and managing director at Open Streets Cape Town, believes that the answer lies in the streets. In an open exchange with others, the initiative is building a network of fellow street enthusiasts in the Global South.
Climate change poses new and specific challenges to the way we think about building. Christine Lemaitre from the German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB) calls out to architects, planners, and builders to respond to this challenge instead of waiting for the entailing problems to solve themselves.
In Mexico City, residents organised to convince the city government to build a public park instead of developing an area for office buildings. The Parque Imán can serve as an example for successfully greening neighbourhoods, and reclaiming public space in a participatory and transparent manner.
The privatisation of public spaces often conflicts with the interests of the general public. So, what can inhabitants do to fight such privatisation processes? URBANET talked to Alissa Raj from Transition TTDI, a residents’ initiative that advocates for keeping a community park in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, public.
Adopted Spaces: How Social Life on India’s Streets is Increasingly Threatened by Top-down City Planning
In India’s bustling cities, time spent in public spaces is an integral component of everyday life. Street design that focuses on motorised traffic does not take into account this human quality of street life. Instead, local practices and human activity should inform city planning, argues Sneha Mandhan.
Until today, women around the world experience harassment and even assault when moving in public spaces, including on public transport services. In Nairobi, Kenya, the Flone Initiative is combatting gender-based violence by supporting victims, and by training service providers to effectively prevent behaviour that compromises women’s safety and right to mobility.
Interview: “Building resilience requires active public participation” – Vera Bukachi from the Kounkuey Design Initiative
How can vulnerable groups and their needs be integrated into resilience building? URBANET talked to Vera Bukachi from the Kounkuey Design Initiative, who strongly believes that participatory planning and design are key to sustainable urban development.
“People need to own public space” – Interview with Ebru Gencer from the Center for Urban Disaster Risk Reduction and Resilience
Urban populations face risks, not only in regard to natural disasters and climate change, but also in terms of social problems such as unsafe public spaces. In an interview with URBANET, Ebru Gencer from CUDRR+R explains how cities and local governments can make cities more resilient and manage risks effectively.